Today, we’re going to look at parenting styles. We’re providing a quiz and your score. What type of parenting style do you use? Find out by taking this quiz. Answer the questions honestly, based on your beliefs and what you would really say or do, not how you think it “should” be answered. Grab your pen/pencil and your paper or notebook.
1. What is the parent’s job?
a. To make children behave and to obey authority and rules.
b. To provide constant supervision/structured rules so children will act/choose “right.”
c. To teach children the life skills they need to be self-disciplined, responsible adults.
d. To make sure children have a happy, carefree childhood.
e. To let children learn the proper skills and behavior on their own
2. Who is responsible for controlling the child’s behavior?
a. Parents must stay in charge and children should obey their rules.
b. Children should do what the more experienced and knowledgeable parents say.
c. Parents are responsible for teaching children behaviors and skills they need for self-control.
d. Parents should explain to the children why they should behave and ask for their cooperation.
e. Children can figure out their own limits through trial and error.
3. Who has rights?
a. The parents have all the rights, just because they are adults; children have few or no rights.
b. Parents have superior knowledgeable and experience; therefore they have more rights.
c. Parents and children both have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
d. Children’s rights and needs are more important than the parents.
e. Children have rights as long as the parents aren’t inconvenienced.
4. Who gets respect?
a. Children are expected to respect parents, but parents are not obligated to respect children.
b. Children have to earn their parents’ respect before they will receive it.
c. All people deserve to be treated respectfully, regardless of age or position.
d. Parents should respect their children so the children will be happy.
e. Children act disrespectful now and then, it’s no big deal.
5. How are mistakes handled?
a. Children must be punished if they break the rules. The punishment must either make the child feel bad or inconvenience the child somehow.
b. Parents can correct children’s mistakes by expressing disappointment, offering constructive criticism, urging children to try harder, and telling them how to fix the mistake and prevent it later.
c. Children can learn lessons from mistakes and how to fix them or prevent them in the future.
d. It is a parent’s responsibility to fix children’s mistakes or protect children from the negative effects.
e. Others (besides the parents and children) are probably to blame for the children’s mistakes.
6. How are problems solved and decisions made?
a. Parents have the right answers, so the children should follow their advice.
b. Parents should monitor their children’s activities, set goals for the child, and offer rewards or incentives for reaching the goals.
c. Choices are made within limits that respect the rights and needs of others.
d. Parents should try to find out what the children want and make them happy.
e. The problems will go away on their own; if not, the parents can deal with it later.
7. How are negative feelings handled?
a. Children should not express negative feelings because it shows defiance and disrespect.
b. Children should think and feel what their parents think and feel is “right.”
c. Parents shouldn’t try to change their children’s negative feelings but can teach them how to express them appropriately.
d. Parents should protect or rescue children from negative feelings.
e. Everything will go smoother if children keep their negative feelings to themselves.
8. Who decides how children should behave, which interests they pursue and the goals they set?
a. Parents should tell children what to do and the goals to pursue and make them follow through.
b. Parents should set high standards for children and choose interests/goals that will help the children succeed as adults.
c. Parents can teach children positive behavior skills so children can set and reach healthy goals.
d. Children should be allowed to do whatever interests/goals they want so they’ll be happy.
e. Children can figure out how to behave and what interests/goals to pursue through trial and error.
9. Who makes the rules and how are they enforced?
a Parents should tell their children what to do, and children should obey without question.
b. Parents can set structured rules and correct children with constructive criticism and advice.
c. Children can have choices, within reasonable limits and understand the value of the rules.
d. If parents politely remind children to behave, they eventually will.
e. If parents set and enforce limits, their children will feel too constricted and rebel.
10. How can parents motivate children?
a. Children can be motivated through commands and threats.
b. Children can be motivated by rewards and incentives, acceptance and praise.
c. Parents can teach their children the value of tasks so they are self-motivated to do them.
d. Children should be responsible for motivating themselves.
e. If parents do enough for their children, the children will be happy and motivated.
11. How do parents discipline?
a. Punishment should be uncomfortable or inconvenient so misbehavior will stop.
b. Parents should make their children feel bad for misbehaving and take away special privileges.
c. Parents can explain children’s behavior choices and hold them accountable for their decisions.
d. Parents shouldn’t punish their children too often or they will lose their children’s love.
e. Children can monitor their own behavior.
You will have five totals–one for each of the five parenting styles. Your highest score shows your dominant parenting style.
Autocratic/Strict: Add 1 point for every (a.) answer.
Autocratic/Overbearing: Add 1 point for every (b.) answer.
Balanced/Democratic: Add 1 point for every (c.) answer.
Permissive: Add 1 point for every (d.) answer.
Uninvolved: Add 1 point for every (e.) answer.
BALANCED STYLE: Sometimes referred to in literature as “democratic”. This style tends to be most healthy because there is a balance of age-appropriate child autonomy and parental control. Independence is encouraged and discipline is consistent and fair. Parenting is warm and nurturing without being overindulgent. Discipline tends to be consistent and fair. According to research, this parenting style is related to the best outcomes for children and teens.
PERMISSIVE STYLE: This parenting style allows the child/teen a lot of freedom and choice. Parents may have a hard time saying “No” to their child/teen, establishing and enforcing rules, and creating boundaries. Also called “indulgent” parenting, this style is characterized by high responsiveness to a child’s needs and high emotional connection. When extreme and sustained, permissive parenting is related to difficulties for children and teens in taking personal responsibility and learning how to delay gratification.
OVERBEARING STYLE: Often referred to in literature as “authoritarian” or “autocratic”. This style is typically demanding with high levels of control and high levels of responsiveness and closeness. An “overbearing” parent is highly connected to their child/teen and also has high expectations for them to conform and comply with their rules, guidance, and direction. When extreme and sustained, this parenting style is related to anxiousness and lower self-esteem for children and teens.
STRICT STYLE: This parenting style is characterized by predictability and order, and rules that allow little room for negotiation. Discipline tends to be firm. Unlike the “overbearing” style, however, emotional connection is low. When extreme and sustained, research suggests that this parenting style is related to teens feeling uncared for and a higher risk of substance abuse.
UNINVOLVED STYLE: This parenting style allows the child/teen a lot of freedom and choice and few (or poorly-enforced) rules and boundaries, but lacks the emotional responsiveness characterized by the “permissive” style. This style is characterized by low emotional connection with few demands placed on the child. When extreme and sustained, children parented in this style may feel isolated and are at an increased risk for substance abuse and for performing poorly in school.
Where do you fall on the parenting styles scale?
Adapted from the Prepare-Enrich Parenting workbook. Quiz co-written by Jody Pawel and Pam Dillon of the Dayton Daily News (for 4/6/98 article).